Today I marvelled at those cheeky Italian's sense of humour.
- Jacking the car. Fine if you are a franchised dealer with a 2 or 4 post lift, a frigging nightmare if you're a punter with a trolley jack and axle stands working outdoors. You use the helpfully-provided jacking point, but then there's hardly anywhere safe you can use the axle stands. Just getting the undertray off becomes a major job, since you want the whole front off the ground. And the front jacking points are far enough back that they lift the rear wheels too, so chocking is dodgy.
I still haven't figured this out yet, other than using 2 trolley jacks and then removing both front wheels to get axle stands under the stub axles. I actually have 2 trolley jacks, but the 40-year-old one is leaking and needs new seals.
- Alfa has too much choice, using Allan, Ribe, Torx and hex heads apparently at random. What genius used Ribe on the cambelt covers where two are absolutely impossible for any Ribe bit 'cos there's only 20mm clearance to the wheel arch? But hey, I can bodge, and managed it with a 1/4" flat screwdriver bit and a small ring spanner. Either hex or Allan would have been a lot easier. I'm not putting those 2 stupid Ribe bolts back.
- I am still hysterical about the alternator location. Ultimately that will have to come out as the one-way pulley is rattling horribly. Since I'm replacing the inlet manifold I am hoping it can come out from the top.
- By God this thing is complicated. I must have disconnected about 20 loom plugs and 15 hoses. The hose clips are bizarre, I can't imagine what sort of tool AR uses to compress and fasten them. They're bad enough to remove. I've ordered a big bumper assortment of stainless Jubilee clips to replace them.
- I bolted down the HP fuel pump pulley to retain the cambelt and removed the pump, anticipating woodruff key loss mentioned by many in these forums. Mine didn't have one to drop, it has a roll pin instead, less inclined to fall out and get lost. Well done AR.
- The vacuum oil thingy on the back of the engine - the gigantic lump with a rats nest of hoses, vacuum lines, wires, solenoids. Well, I got it off the back of the inlet eventually, but I'm not sure how it's ever going back on given the inaccessibility of the bolts. Alfa thoughtfully made 2 of the 3 bracket holes open slots, but I couldn't get the poxy thing off without removing the bolts completely. Not a good sign it'll go back easily. Very droll.
- I can now say with some authority that the CF4 plastic-and-metal Magnet Marelli inlet can be dismantled in situ, and that there's really little point doing so as the damn thing still catches on the HP fuel pump support bracket, just the same as the earlier all-metal manifold. However removing the plastic part does make it easier to see what's what. Looks like I shall have to remove the inlet studs to pull the metal part of the manifold out. No big deal. At least I can already see that my metal swirl flaps are all still there and firmly attached to their spindles, at 78k. Plenty of carbon, though, so it's getting a brand new manifold I got cheap on eBay. Cue discussion about de-flap. Despite all advice that the only safe swirl flap is a deleted swirl flap, I'm inclined to keep them and restrict, or perhaps delete the EGR. If it does another 80k or more, that's fine.
- I still hate working in the gutter in January.
- eLearn is nothing like a workshop manual.
- PS don't believe the claims that those Bluetooth OBD2 readers shut themselves off after 30mins. I left one in place, a Maxiscan 903, which works brilliantly with Torque. Bad mistake: in a week it flattened my battery, really flat - 7.2v
I hope still recoverable, now charging.
Still, just the aux belt to grapple with next, the idler, tensioner, crank pulley and alternator, I am replacing the lot. It's all going OK so far, aside from the jacking issues.